Why are bunions painful? Put simply, they’re deformities associated with the MTP (metatarsophalangeal) joint found at the base of your big toe. When the metatarsal bone of the foot begins to turn outward while the big toe turns inward, the joint will jut out and the bunion is formed. It becomes inflamed, stiff, and painful because the majority of shoes are not designed to support and protect against such misalignment of the joint.
What can you do to avoid bunion formation and progression? Aside from seeking professional advice from your podiatrist here at Affiliated Podiatrists, LTD., in one of our Chicago, IL, offices, here are some practical tips to keep your Chicago bunion in check.
Shoes for Comfort
When you wear comfortable shoes, there is less pressure over the joint where bunions usually form. Comfortable shoes are normally wider at the toe box to give your toes more room for movement. By allowing your toes to rest comfortably, you protect your feet from Chicago bunions.
Aside from the toe box, make sure that your heel and arch are protected as well. This can be assured by having properly fitted shoes. Make sure that your shoes feel comfortable the moment you put it on without having to break it in. In addition, use high heeled-shoes in moderation if necessary.
Take Care of Your Feet
It does not matter where you are, giving your feet ample rest will go a long way in protecting it against bunions. Take off your shoes whenever possible to allow your feet to rest. If you need to wear high-heeled shoes for work, take every opportune moment to rest your feet.
Likewise, learning to take care of your feet from childhood will protect you later in your life. Considering that bunions do not develop overnight, protecting your feet early on will spare you from the pain of bunions. Exercise your feet and toes to strengthen them and prevent bunions.
Part of taking care of your feet is to always be aware of their shape. Any changes in the shape may be a sign of bunion formation, especially if the condition runs in your family. This warrants a proper examination, and if applicable, professional treatment from your podiatrist here in Chicago, IL.
Padding the Bunion
What can you do if you already have a bunion? You should pad or brace the bunion to prevent it from progressing while also minimizing your pain. Shoe inserts that correct the position of the foot will also go a long way in negating the impact of bunions. Using a splint as you sleep will keep your toe straight to ease any discomfort. Additionally, you can treat it with a warm soak, ice pack, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to help ease irritation and pain.
Take note that surgery is usually not an option in avoiding bunion formation and progression unless an underlying deformity has been identified. Consult with your podiatrist for treatment procedures that apply to your condition.
Get Relief from Your Bunion Now
Schedule a consultation with one of our podiatrists here at Affiliated Podiatrists, LTD, by calling our Central Ave. Chicago, IL, office at (773) 202-8800 or our Francisco Ave. Chicago, IL, office at (773) 558-4799.
Dealing with recurring toenail fungal infections? Laser treatment may be the answer.
Toenail fungus, also referred to as onychomycosis, is an unpleasant and unsightly condition that can be rather difficult to treat. While you may have turned to over-the-counter creams and other medications to help combat the problem, the unfortunate issue is that many OTC products aren’t effective enough. That’s where our Chicago podiatrists, Dr. Marc Feder, Dr. Jason Kalk, and Dr. Jacob Richey can help.
How does the PinPointe laser work?
Unlike ointments and creams, which cannot penetrate through the nail to target the fungus, our laser system is able to safely and painlessly penetrate the nail to heat up and destroy the fungus underneath without affecting the surrounding skin.
How long is the procedure?
Since this laser treatment is minimally invasive it doesn’t require anesthesia or any invasive techniques. Therefore, the procedure itself only takes about 30 minutes per nail. The procedure will take longer if several nails require treatment at a time.
Is there any downtime associated with laser treatment?
There is absolutely no downtime or recovery period associated with PinPointe laser treatment from our Chicago office. Once the procedure is over, you can go right back to your daily routine. There are also virtually no side effects associated with this treatment; however, it is important to note that toenails will not be immediately clear afterward. It will take months for the nail to grow out clear.
How many sessions will I need?
Most patients only require one session in order to fully treat the infection; however, more severe or persistent cases may require one or two additional treatment sessions.
Who should consider receiving PinPointe laser treatment?
Anyone who is dealing with a toenail fungal infection that isn’t finding results through at-home care could benefit from visiting a podiatrist for laser treatment. If you are dealing with severe infections that are causing yellow, thick, and brittle nails, then laser therapy may give you the best results without dealing with side effects. This also provides patients who may not be able to take oral antifungal medications with another effective treatment option.
Affiliated Podiatrists has three locations in Chicago to serve you better. Whether you are dealing with persistent toenail fungal infection, ingrown toenails, or diabetic foot problems, our podiatrists can help you find the care you need. To learn more about PinPointe laser treatment, call us at (773) 202-8800 (N. Central Ave.), (773) 696-4700 (W. Addison St.), or (773) 558-4799 (N. Francisco Ave.).
A bunion is a bony swelling that occurs on the joint at the base of your big toe. It begins to form as some of the small bones in your foot slip out of place. When this happens, the end of your big toe is drawn towards your other toes forcing the joint on your big toe outwards. Here at Affiliated Podiatrists, Ltd. in Chicago, IL, our podiatrists specialize in treating bunions.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bunion
Indications that you have a bunion may include:
- A hard swelling at the base of your big toe
- Inflammation of the affected joint
- Callouses or corns between the big toe and the second toe
- Tenderness of the affected joint
- Inability to move your big toe
- Sharp pains in the affected joint that come and go
Often, bunions do not require medical treatment. However, you can benefit from seeing a podiatrist, particularly if you have:
- Persistent pain
- Difficulty wearing shoes
- Minimal movement of your big toe
What Causes Bunions?
Though the exact cause of a bunion is not known, medical specialists believe that the following factors are involved:
- Trauma to the foot
- Inherited gene
- Birth deformities
- Ill-fitting shoes
People with rheumatoid arthritis may also be prone to bunions.
Bunion Risk Factors
It’s possible that the following factors may increase your risk of bunions:
- Wearing high-heeled shoes that compress the toes
- Wearing shoes that are too narrow
- An inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis
- Genes inherited from your parents
Possible Complications from Bunions
If left untreated, bunions may lead to more serious complications such as:
- Hammertoe: This condition causes an abnormal bend in the middle joint of a toe – usually the second, third or fourth toe. It can be painful and debilitating.
- Bursitis: This condition causes a build-up of fluid in the pads that cushion your toe’s joints. This causes the joints to become inflamed.
- Metatarsalgia: This condition causes inflammation and pain in the ball of your foot.
If you are suffering from bunions, call one of Affiliated Podiatrists' three offices:
- N. Central Ave Chicago, - (773) 202-8800
- W. Addison St Chicago - 773-696-4700
- N. Francisco Ave. Chicago - (773) 558-4799
Here at Affiliated Podiatrists Ltd. in Chicago, IL, Drs. Feder, Kalk, and Richley treat common foot conditions such as bunions, warts, hammertoes, and more every day. Read on to learn how our podiatrists can help keep your feet in top shape.
Why see a podiatrist?
If your feet/ankles hurt or your mobility has been impaired by a podiatric condition such as bunions or hammertoes, your entire life can be affected. After all, pain, poor gait, limited range of motion, and more can all impair your ability to care for your family, work, or enjoy your favorite hobbies.
Accordingly, here at Affiliated Podiatrists Ltd., your foot doctors recommend an annual podiatric checkup for everyone over the age of 40 and more frequently for diabetics and those with serious conditions such as peripheral artery disease. During these appointments, your podiatrists check the ligaments, tendons, and even skin and nails to ensure optimal podiatric health.
Additionally, your podiatrists perform specialized gait analysis, take sophisticated imaging (such as MRIS), assess circulation, and more. Customized treatment plans can include surgeries as needed, but more frequently, your foot doctors provide the exercises, shoe inserts, laser therapies, and other less invasive treatments that are effective yet cause less downtime and inconvenience.
Common podiatric conditions and treatments
Here are some of the podiatric conditions that your foot doctors treat in their Chicago offices:
- Bunions, an acquired deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe
- Hammertoes, in which the smaller toes resemble claws due to pressure from poorly fitting shoes
- Ingrown toenails which grow into the skin at the side of the big toes because of poor pedicure techniques and shoes with narrow toe boxes
- Fungal toenails, or onychomycosis, yellow, brittle nails infected with a fungi which thrive in moist, dark environments such as sweaty sneakers
- Plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the connective tissue which stretches across the arch, causing heel pain
- Plantar warts, small hard bumps on the bottom surface of either foot, typically caused by a virus
- Corns and calluses, thickened areas of skin which form from pressure and friction inside the shoe
Drs. Feder, Kalk, and Richley offer traditional and highly reliable treatment plans for these conditions. Additionally, they work to provide the latest innovations in foot and ankle care.
How are your feet doing?
Find out for sure by coming to Affiliated Podiatrists Ltd. in Chicago. We have two convenient locations and Saturday hours, as well. For the Central Avenue location, phone (773) 202-8800. For West Addison Street, call (773) 696-4700.
Let your flexible spending account work hard for you and your footcare needs when you need it most.
Has your employer enrolled you in a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA)? If so, then this could help you afford the necessary medical care you need when you are dealing with foot or ankle problems in Chicago and you need to turn to our podiatrists for treatment. (The kind of care that might not have been a covered benefit by the terms of your insurance policy.) Medical care shouldn’t break the bank and using your flexible spending account can help you save money and stay healthy.
How does an FSA or HSA work?
It’s important to be aware that both of these spending accounts take a use-it-or-lose-it approach. Therefore, whatever money is in your account that you don’t use at the end of the year you’ll lose. While some companies may offer a rollover, chances are good that you will lose the money you put into your spending account if you don’t use it.
If you find that you have cash left in your FSA or HAS you’ll want to use it before December 31st. Luckily, podiatry visits and treatments qualify. With HSA/FSA you can pay for,
Regular appointments: Preventive care is always the best medicine. Visit our Chicago foot doctors every year to make sure that your feet and ankles are healthy and that you are doing everything you can to keep them free from disease and injury.
Orthotics: Custom orthotics can provide your feet with additional cushioning and support and can help everyone from diabetics to athletes.
Laser therapy: Whether your podiatrist has recommended EPAT to treat heel or tendon pain or you are interested in getting PinPointe™ laser therapy to treat your stubborn toenail fungus, your flexible spending account can make it possible to afford the treatments you need to care for your feet.
Affiliated Podiatrists has two offices to provide more comprehensive and attentive foot and ankle care to patients living in Chicago, IL. If you have a flex spending account then let’s talk about ways that we can help you save on the foot and ankle care you need. Call us for an appointment. Now the freedom to choose is yours. Call 773-202-8800.
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